Columbo (1971) s05e06 Episode Script

Last Salute to the Commodore

She hasn't done anything.
Now let her alone! No, no! Don't lie for me! Have a nice meditation.
The doctors are already pretty certain that your father-in-law was dead before he went in the water.
His mizzen jibed like that.
He went overboard.
I got done a lot sooner than I figured.
And nobody saw me.
I'm positive.
What's your name? Johnny.
Daddy.
Wait a minute, Columbo.
We're here today, all of us, to have some fun.
Now, come on.
You mean, so you can get drunk! The brightly beams our Father's mercy From His lighthouse evermore But to us He leaves the keeping Of the lights along the shore Let the lower lights be burning Send a gleam across the wave Some poor aging, struggling seaman You may rest In peace next day Dark the night of sin has settled Loud the angry billows roar are longing, hoping For the lights, along the shore Oh, it's funny! Oh, dear, I love you.
Thank you, Swanny.
Thank you.
Marvelous! I see his yawl's back.
Oh, that's the most beautiful boat he ever designed.
And your uncle is the most beautiful man that's ever lived.
I think he's taking a tour.
Where's he going, Swanny? Oh, who knows? He's out in it night and day.
He's more at home on that boat then he is at home.
Oh, let's drink to that.
I'll drink to anything.
Where is your glass? Stand-by for the Commodore.
Stand-by.
For the Commodore! Hail to the Commodore! Hail the Commodore! All hail the Commodore! The Commodore! The Commodore! All right, let's get this damn thing over with.
How are you, Otis? Let me get another reading here.
Got it.
Great.
Can you give a smile, sir, please? Fine.
There we go.
That's it.
That's it! Sir, would you be so kind, as to give us a shot possibly with Mr.
Clay and your lovely daughter? He was such a boring man.
He was Excuse me, Mrs.
Clay.
Your father would like to have a shot with you inside for the magazine.
Oh.
He was such a boring lover.
Just think, 30 whole years you've been building boats.
Excuse me, this is just for the family.
Ma'am, this is just a family shot.
Goodbye, Hannah.
Could we have a picture with Mr.
Clay? Of course.
Charlie.
Great.
Charlie, darling! Thank you.
All right.
Coming, love.
I'll talk to you later.
Okay.
Let's have a group.
Daddy is the greatest naval architect in the whole world! Excuse me, sir.
Can you get a little closer? Good.
Here we are.
That's nice.
Oh, that's fine.
Can you kiss him again, just one more time? Of course I can! Great.
Oh, that's super.
That's it.
That's it.
Can you look into the lens? Thank you.
Let's get these people out of here! All right, Swanny.
Everybody out of here now.
Everybody out.
Gentlemen, right out.
All right.
Everybody out! Everybody out! Excuse me, have a drink on me.
He'll be with you in a minute.
How you doing? See you in a few minutes.
Right in there.
Okay? Enjoy yourself.
Look happy! Gotta give the family a little privacy now, okay? You people, out there, in the other room.
We'll have a nice time.
I can remember when people bought my boats simply because they liked to sail them.
Not for any slogan, or any status.
Just simply, because they liked to sail.
Well, the business has changed some since then.
Daddy, don't you realize that Charlie has practically doubled your business this year? Doubled the overhead, you mean.
Doubled our losses.
Only for taxes.
That's the secret of expansion.
So who wants to get fat? I don't! Charles, I don't like conglomerates.
Oh, Daddy, stop all this! We're here today, all of us, to have some fun.
Now, come on.
You mean, so you can get drunk! I can remember over the years, when we gave a party, an annual party, for all our own workers! Not for all those sponges out there.
Plus maybe a few executive types.
Well, those are some of our finest customers.
I'd appreciate you joining me and talking with a few of them.
No.
I never did like parties.
I'm going back home, do some work on my boat.
Daddy, you can't! They're important people waiting for you in there.
Listen, Joanna, will you stop Daddy, Daddy! Please! Otis.
Stop making a fool of yourself.
Please, Daddy, please! Otis, I just need you for a short appearance to show some unity.
Squash those rumors about trouble within the company.
Well, it's my company and I don't give a damn! My daughter was a fool because she married you, Charles, and I was a fool for letting you run things so long.
Come on, don't be so shocked and innocent.
You all had your hands in the till, one way or another.
There's only one decent man here.
Here! Take us home.
Is that the Wonder Girl from your office? That's why you work so late.
What's wrong with him? He's going to sell us out.
What? The company.
He's going to pull the rug out from under all of us.
I'll talk to him.
I'll talk to him.
Talk to him.
Talk to him.
Eat, drink, and be merry.
Hi, Wayne.
Hi, Charles.
Can I talk to the boss? He's on the phone.
Well, when we dropped him off, he asked me to bring this back.
He's been having a little trouble with the self-steering.
He's going out tonight.
Yeah.
He mentioned that to me.
How's he feeling? Well, he's a little het up.
He'll calm down.
Well, he gets like that.
A few hours on the water, he'll be like a new man.
Why don't you give that to me? I'll Sure.
Just wait here a second, I'll tell him you're here.
Wayne's here.
He brought the self-steering vane you wanted.
He says, thanks.
He'll see you at the yard tomorrow morning, 11:30.
I'm leaving myself.
Give him some peace.
Be in at the usual time? That depends on Joanna.
All right.
See you in the morning.
Good night.
How's everything, Mr.
Clay? Not bad, Wally.
What time you got? As a matter of fact, it's going on 12:46.
Yeah, thanks a lot.
Take it easy.
Good night! Good night, Mr.
Clay.
Commodore? Commodore? It's a nice evening.
You're running right, sir.
Please, you're running right.
Have a good sail, sir.
My name is Lieutenant Columbo.
Are you the lady of the house? I'm Mrs.
Clay.
Joanna Clay.
I'm Charles Clay.
What do you want? My name is Lieutenant Columbo.
I'm from the Los Angeles Police Department.
Lieutenant Columbo.
What do you want, Lieutenant? Your father is Otis Swanson, is that right? Yeah.
It seems they call him the Commodore? That's right.
They call him the Commodore.
His boat was found, he was not on it.
The sailing boat.
Yawl.
He wasn't on it? No, sir, he was not on the boat.
Well, where is he? We don't know.
I'm going down to take a look at it now.
Would you like to come along, sir? I think maybe you could help out.
Certainly.
It's a beautiful place.
Thank you.
Where's the beach? It's out back.
Can I look? Go ahead.
Be with you in a moment.
Come on, love.
Put that down, Sarge.
We'll get a little fresh air on the way back.
Hello, John.
How you doing, George? What are you doing out here? Listen, Chief asked me to run you down.
He's got this guy just assigned to Homicide.
He wants the Lieutenant to take him under his wing.
No kidding? He's real hot on him.
Okay.
Let me meet him.
Where was I, Charlie? You didn't sleep in your bed last night.
I stretched out in the den.
I didn't even know you were home.
Did Daddy mention that he was going sailing? Drink this coffee.
Straight.
Black.
Wayne Taylor said he intended to go out.
Maybe somebody stole his boat.
Stole it? The boat! If you didn't put me to bed last night, who did? I don't even remember leaving the yacht club.
She's not making anything.
Her oldest daughter's getting married.
She's going crazy about that.
Sir! Sir, would you mind waiting just a minute? We better get the Lieutenant.
Lieutenant! Lieutenant! I'm coming! Oh, that's a big ocean.
A lot of water out there.
Japan is that way? Lieutenant.
Excuse me, sir.
Be right with you.
Lieutenant.
John, how are you? Just fine, Lieutenant.
I'd like you to meet Theodore Albinsky.
How are you? Very good, sir.
Sarge.
I want to give these up.
The wife is into plants, she even talks to them.
She says the smoke is bad for them, so you keep a check on me.
Theodore.
Al what? Albinsky.
How old is he? He's 29.
He's been on the force four years.
The Chief is crazy about him.
He wants you to take him under your wing.
Theodore Alb Albinsky? Albinsky.
And what do I call you? Theodore? No, sir, you call me Mac.
Mac.
Yeah.
Mac.
Do you have any Scotch or Irish in you? Oh, no, sir.
All right, Mac.
Welcome aboard.
Mr.
Clay? Would you be kind enough to ride along with us, so we can fill in some background on the way? And John here, he'll come along with us.
And he'll take you wherever you want to go afterwards.
All right, Mac.
You come along.
Mac, you'll probably need some practice driving, in case we ever have to give chase.
You take the wheel.
Mr.
Clay, why don't you come around to this side here? I'm sorry, Mr.
Clay, you haven't met everybody.
The fella in that other car there is Sergeant John Sanderson.
Sergeant, why don't you get in the back here? Okay.
And this is Sergeant George Kramer.
Mr.
Clay, why don't you sit in the front like this? This fella likes to be called Mac.
Hi.
Here.
Lieutenant, how do we get this in reverse? Up.
Up? Toward the end knob.
Do you have enough room? Yeah.
Yeah.
Excuse me while I just get my watch.
All right, just give me a second.
I think it's in the other pocket.
There's the key right there, Mac.
Mr.
Clay, do you have the time? Is it anywhere near 11:20? Twenty-one.
Oh, wonderful.
I set that by the radio.
Okay.
Excuse me, sir, if you don't mind, may I? Oh, that's a honey, isn't it? That's a real watch.
That's got the day and the date.
I'll bet you that's waterproof and shockproof.
Don't rush it, Mac.
That's it.
All right.
How do you switch to first? Toward you and down.
Slow on the clutch.
That's it.
That's it.
Okay.
Watch this guy here.
All right.
All right.
Take it around the full circle till you get the hang of it.
All right, hit the highway.
Now, that's a what? A yawl.
Yawl? Yeah.
Yeah.
Yawls, ketches, schooners.
And what makes a yawl? Well, yawl have mainsails.
Difference is that the mizzenmast is aft of the steering station on a yawl.
Thank you, Mr.
Clay.
Thank you very much.
Mac.
Go look around indoors.
I'd like to make a preliminary check, if you don't mind.
No, no, no.
I like everything preliminary.
How was he when you last saw him? Well, when Taylor and I left him at his house, he was healthy.
You know, the first thing that our office did this morning was check that security service out there where he lives.
And a guard remembers your leaving the island, all right, but he never noticed your father-in-law's boat leave.
He couldn't have.
Because it's impossible to see a boat from the bridge gatehouse.
Check with the Coast Guard to see if they have any logged record of his departure, Lieutenant.
Oh, I never thought of that.
Good.
We'll do that.
Listen, are the police always called in when there's any possibility of an accident? Accident.
Oh, I'm sure this is an accident.
Don't worry just because I'm from Homicide.
Didn't I mention that? Well, never mind.
If the Commodore just fell off the boat, probably somebody out there already just picking him up.
I mean, we get lots of false alarms.
Mr.
Clay, would you care to come aboard? Love to have you join us, Sergeant.
They'll only take a minute there.
Sergeant, you got a match? Mr.
Clay, smoke? Erratically.
Lieutenant.
Excuse me, Lieutenant.
This is Ensign O'Connor.
Lieutenant Columbo.
Hi, Lieutenant.
Sergeant Kramer, Ensign O'Connor.
Sergeant.
And, I think you know Charles Clay.
Yes, we met.
And this is, Bosun's Mate Murray.
Sorry.
Lieutenant Columbo.
Bosun's Mate Murray, this is Sergeant Kramer.
Sergeant.
This is Mr.
Clay.
Charles Clay, Bosun's Mate Murray.
All right.
I got you.
Would these gentlemen come aboard? All right.
Lieutenant, I brought Murray, here, down.
I thought you might like to see his log entry last night.
Oh, yes, yes, I certainly would.
What do you think? This is a big thing, this yawl.
Do you think one man could sail this all by himself? Well, sir, if you ask me, I think the Commodore could sail the Queen Mary alone, sir.
Oh? He's one of the finest sailors in the world, Lieutenant.
Yes, he's designed even bigger boats for single handling.
Well, what do you think happened? Well, sir, I don't know, but that portside cleat was pulled loose.
That might have given him a little trouble.
Portside cleat.
Cleat.
What does that do? It secures the gib sheet.
Murray.
Yes, sir? Let me take a look at that log.
Yes, sir.
Here you go.
It'll show you as the time the Commodore cleared the harbor last night.
That was 1:23 a.
m.
I'm sure it was him, sir.
He was all alone.
Here.
Was the mizzen furled when you found it? No, sir, it was all the way up.
The wind was only 12 knots, sir.
That's approximately on land.
Were the running lines free? All clear, wheel perfect.
No seaweed below.
Thank you very much.
Right, sir.
Thank you very much.
Yes, sir.
Mr.
Columbo, if he did happen to fall overboard, do you know what the odds are against finding him in the water? Between the tides, sharks and currents? Most of the people around here seem to like him.
Yeah.
Most of us.
Fred! Fred! Who's Fred? Yard Foreman.
You wanted to know why the Commodore stopped by here yesterday.
Fred was here.
Fred! So you went up to his place and you took him that thing, huh? That's right.
You took him that quad? Part of a vane.
Part of a vane.
And he was gonna fix something? Yeah.
The boat was shipshape, but he took it out last week and there was one thing bugging him.
The self-steering vane.
And this part of the vane, that's what this is for? Yeah.
It's self-adjusting.
The vane is self-adjusting.
Mr.
Columbo, the Commodore's yawl is fully equipped to sail around the world single-handed.
But you like to sleep, don't you? Oh, I've got to have my eight.
All right.
You gotta have your eight.
You're all alone on a boat, you still need your eight.
Right? I got you.
Who's running the ship while I'm in the sack? The self-steering vane.
Fred! Here! Fred, this is Lieutenant Columbo from the Los Angeles Police Department.
He wants to ask you a question.
How you doing, Fred? Okay, Lieutenant.
Be with you in a minute.
I got to see one of those vanes.
How was he? Who? The Commodore.
He was pretty upset.
That's why he went sailing.
When he's upset he takes it out at sea.
And you know him pretty good? I've been managing his boatyard for quite a while.
So you're the manager of the Swanson Boatyard, huh? This is Fred? That's correct.
You run the yard and he's the foreman.
Now, over you is Mr.
Charles Clay.
Is that right? That's right.
And he married the Commodore's daughter? That's right.
And the Commodore owns all this.
Nice boat.
All right.
Fred? Yes, sir! Mr.
Taylor here tells me that you were down here yesterday afternoon, and the Commodore came down.
And he went into the spare parts shop.
The chandlery.
Is that right, Fred? Yes, sir.
And he picked up a few things? Is that right, Fred? Mr.
Taylor will tell you.
He was always in and out.
Picking up bits and pieces.
Do you remember what he took yesterday? Well, I had to get back to work.
But by the time I left him, he had a few stencils and some paint.
Stencils? Yes, sir.
Stencils.
Cleat.
A bunch of running Cleat, is it? Cleat! Cleat? Running lines Come again? Running lines.
Running lines? Yes, sir.
Like boat.
All right! And a can of black marine paint.
Marine paint.
Black paint.
Black what? Paint, sir.
Black paint.
Black marine paint Marine paint? What else, I don't know.
It doesn't make no sense.
Thank you, Fred.
Black paint? Oh, Uncle Otis would have all sorts of uses for black paint.
That doesn't mean anything, Lieutenant.
That's not gonna tell you what happened to him last night.
No, I don't suppose it would.
And you don't think that the Commodore is the kind of man who would just fall overboard? If he did, he'd walk home.
That's the way most people thought of him around here.
And they were right.
You know, he's given me an allowance ever since I was 14 and my folks died.
An allowance? Oh, so they call it a salary now, but who's kidding who? He even stuck me in his will.
He showed it to me.
You've seen the will? What's in it? A couple of thousand whereases.
He just wanted me to know there'd be a trust set up, in case Charles got any bright ideas.
You didn't happen to notice whether Charles inherits anything, did you? No, no.
Joanna, the Commodore's daughter, gets everything.
The works.
But, you know, California's a community-property state.
So, what's the difference? Yes.
Right.
There she is.
That little gem there was the wedding present.
It was five years ago.
You don't suppose I could sort of get on that thing, and just look around, do you? You know, I've never been on anything that fancy.
Why not? Be my guest.
A wedding present, huh? Are you all right? What are you doing? TM.
TM? Transcendental meditation.
Oh.
About what? Relax.
Who are you? Lisa.
That's not right.
What's not right? Let me show you.
You're supposed to put this foot up to this thigh, and this foot up to that thigh.
Would you help me with that foot? Relax.
I'm trying to.
This ankle hurts.
Relax? This foot on this thigh.
This foot over here? Would you help me with that? I don't think I'm gonna be able to do that.
Can I just keep my legs out like this? Sure.
Did you bring that cop over here? Yeah.
Why? Idiot! This is Mr.
Charles Clay's boat, isn't it? Yes.
Okay.
I work for Mr.
Clay.
What do you do? I am a naval architect and a marine engineer.
And I work with Mr.
Swanson.
I didn't know you were into meditation, Lieutenant.
Well Lisa? Yes.
Miss Lisa was just demonstrating.
Lieutenant! Hey, Lieutenant.
Where are you? Up here! Up on top of the back.
Well, do you want us to wait down here or come up there? Come on up.
Come below.
Have a nice meditation.
It's too bad you didn't stay at the Coast Guard station a little longer this morning, or at least check with your office more often.
Why do you say that? Oh, why do you keep suggesting that my father-in-law's disappearance was something more than an accident? Oh, just a couple of little things bothered me.
Yes.
This is Charles Clay.
May I speak to Ensign O'Connor, please? It was Ensign O'Connor who found that spot of blood on the mizzen boom.
Yes, Ensign.
This is Charles Clay.
Would you tell Lieutenant Columbo what you told me? All right? Right.
Hang on.
Here.
Sorry.
Hello.
He lost control of a line, his boat jibed, mizzen boom swung, and that was it.
Mmm-hmm.
Well, thank you.
What does "jibed" mean? Come on, I'll show you.
That's the jibe, Lieutenant.
That's your old fashioned jibe.
From port to starboard, starboard to port.
Right to left, left to right.
And what causes that? Well, when you're going along, wind gets behind your sail, hits it, boom.
Moves it all the way from one side of the vessel to the other.
Now, what's that? What's what? This here.
This wood? Yeah.
It's the boom.
What boom is that? What? It's the main boom.
Is there another boom? Yeah, there's a mizzen boom.
The mizzen boom.
This is the mizzen boom.
Now, this is a smaller boom? Yeah.
It's also lower.
And lower.
Yeah.
You heard of lowering the boom? Oh, yeah.
So this is lower.
Ah, yes.
Oh, that's low.
Yeah.
Okay.
Move to starboard, port, same way.
Now, what's this? That? That's the self-steering vane.
That's the self-steering vane.
That's right.
You know how that works? What do you do with that? Let me show you.
Here.
Put that up here.
Hold on this piece right here till it slides down there just like that.
All the way down.
Then it self steers.
It's like an automatic pilot.
By itself? All by itself.
That's right.
I see.
As the wind catches it.
You don't have to That's You don't have to handle that? That's not a handle.
That's a weight.
Ah, I see.
Let me just take a look at that.
Here.
Okay.
There you go.
And I just take that off, right? Hang on.
Hang on.
Wind will catch you and you'll go over.
Oh, I don't want to go over.
All right.
Okay.
There we are.
All right.
And this whole yawl is driven by this vane.
That's right.
Without a need of human help.
Yeah, all right.
Now, what way would you put that on? Huh? Doesn't make any difference.
Wouldn't make no difference, huh? Any difference.
Adjusts to the wind.
Right.
Look at that.
There's something missing that should be here.
What's that? There's supposed to be a nut here.
A nut? Yes.
A nut.
You put that on over there, slide it down, screw the nut on.
It secures it.
There's no nut.
Well, what is the nut for? Well, it secures it.
It holds it on top.
Just like that.
Oh, you put the vane on down there.
Then this bolt comes up, you screw down the bolt, secures it, and it steers.
Oh.
So the nut would be I see.
It should be there.
On top.
Or on top.
And there's no nut there, huh? There's no nut.
Well, what do you think happened? I don't know.
Maybe it's somewhere on board here.
There's no nut.
Well, what could've happened, I'm speculating, is the Commodore had put the vane back there, came up here, took the nut off, turned around this way.
As he started to walk, his mizzen jibed like that.
He went overboard like that.
The nut dropped in the water.
As simple as that.
All right.
Where was the blood? The blood was here on the portside of the mizzen.
On the port.
Yeah.
Right there.
On the portside.
There was the blood.
So he was turning this way.
It jibed.
It jibed this way.
Got him Port.
To the left and got him, and that was it.
Over.
Watch your head.
Okay.
All right.
All right.
Taking the nut off, going to get the self-steering vane, and the mizzen boom jibed.
Right.
Blood on the port.
Hello.
Yes.
I'm sorry to hear that.
All right.
Right away.
They found your father.
Have they? Columbo wants one of us to identify the body.
He's dead.
Daddy! Daddy! I'd better go.
Please! I have to, Joanna.
Now, don't drink.
Look.
Do you remember this, hmm? Remember this? My anniversary gift.
Look at it! Our brooch.
Where did you find it? I picked it up.
I can't remember.
No.
I know you can't remember.
Now, don't drink.
Don't drink! It's him.
I'm sorry, sir.
Thank you very much.
Sergeant.
These are some of the things that we found in his pocket.
You all right? Yeah.
Was this a watch chain, maybe? It was found hooked to his jacket.
Yeah.
That was his.
See, it's broken.
I wonder where the watch is.
Well, I wouldn't know, Lieutenant.
Wouldn't know.
Well, what's the difference? It's not going to help us find the murderer.
The what? The doctors are already pretty certain that your father-in-law was dead before he went in the water.
Maybe even some time before.
Something to do with water in the lungs.
Too much water, not enough water.
No water.
They claim he was dead.
Maybe he was hit and fell down, and was knocked over later by a big wave or something.
Well, you know, the Coast Guard says that the swells were only two or three feet.
There must've been somebody else on the boat.
Lieutenant.
Yes, sir? I was not the other person on board.
Therefore, there is nothing that I could have done to the Commodore.
You couldn't? I left the island where his boat was moored shortly after midnight.
And I never returned.
Check with the security guards.
They're on duty 24 hours.
Now, sir, this is the wrong way.
That's the right way.
They're on duty 24 hours.
And I simply could not have returned without them seeing me.
Yes, sir.
I guess that's all true.
And that guard, he certainly remembers what time you left, just like I told you he did.
But that's exactly what's been bothering me right from the beginning.
Time.
Ever since I saw that beautiful watch of yours, time.
Why would you check with the guard when you were leaving the island? The time.
He's got a drugstore watch.
Unless you wanted to make certain that when you were leaving he would remember The time.
I'm really confused.
There're so many islands around here.
Where are we now? Are we on an island or are we on the mainland? The mainland, Lieutenant.
Here, let me show you.
Ensign.
Let me explain it to him, all right? Lieutenant, let me explain it to you.
Let's pretend that you're the island and your foot here is the Commodore's house.
Now, over here is the mainland, and this piling here is the yacht club.
Now, between the yacht club and the island is a channel.
From the yacht club to the Commodore's house is about a mile.
Then on out to sea.
Is it possible to swim from the mainland to the island at night without being seen? Well, the channel is very well-lit, all night in fact.
But there's a reason for the law against swimming, Lieutenant.
With all the boat traffic in here, the chances of being hit by a boat or a propeller are only too good.
On top of which, it was a Friday night.
A lot of people were awake, partying.
I don't mean it's impossible.
I just don't think it's very likely.
Lieutenant, your cigar.
Oh.
You're right, Sergeant.
Thank you.
What do you have there? Stencils.
Stencils.
Cleat, running line, black marine paint.
Where's the other stuff? It's on the boat.
This is a stencil and you use that to paint a word.
These haven't been painted on.
No.
No paint.
No.
All right.
What's the word? Well, sir.
I would say "sails".
This one This one is just a blank, I guess.
"Sails" with a blank.
A hole.
And where would you paint this? Well, a lot of people stencil their sails locker.
A locker.
Thank you for your time, sir.
That was very helpful.
Appreciate the time.
Oh, that's okay.
Good luck.
Mac.
Sergeant.
Can we spell anything else out of these? Let's see.
Slia.
Silas, slias.
Slas.
Slasis.
Lassi? You need an "E.
" You need an "E" for that, Sergeant.
A-S-S, S, I-S, A-S-S-L-I.
Assli.
Sails? I think it's just The only word you can spell is "sails.
" Sails.
S-A-I-L-S.
It's the only one you got.
With a hole.
Was that you making that noise? You mean the regulator? Yeah.
What were you doing under there? Scraping the bottom of the boat.
How long can you stay under there with that tank? With a full tank, about 45 minutes.
How long you been doing that kind of work? Oh, this is my fourth day.
What are you doing tonight? Nothing.
Are you all right? Yeah.
I'm all right.
You cold? A bit.
He's cold.
Check your watch.
Check your watch.
Now, you're going from here.
He's going from here out to that island.
How far is that? About a mile down the channel.
Can you make that? I got a compass.
I know the tide.
What time you got? Good luck to you.
Thanks.
I got done a lot sooner than I figured.
And nobody saw me.
I'm positive.
What's your name? Johnny.
Very good.
Did it work? That's how he did it.
Did you find anything? A broken watch.
And a lipstick.
Where'd you find them? There were these little pieces of broken glass, right there.
So, I looked around and right under the couch there was the watch.
Now, it must've been knocked off of something.
Excuse me, and I found the lipstick right under the corner of the couch here.
Where are they now? On the desk.
Dust.
Did you fellas touch this? No, sir.
No, sir.
I thought this house had been searched before? Just a quick look.
We supposed that the Commodore had died on his boat or fell off of it.
The court sealed up the house.
All right.
That could be the Commodore's watch.
Probably is.
What was the time? Can't see.
Hold that, Sergeant.
Can't see.
Mac, get me the front end of the telescope.
Yes, sir.
That unscrews.
All right.
I need the lenses.
Is this what you want? Yes.
Twelve forty two.
Saturday, 31st.
Chain.
All right.
So, if there was a struggle here and in the struggle the chain broke, how could the watch be shoved under the carpet? Somebody moved the body.
Lieutenant, you remember that Charles Clay checked off the island at 12:46? What are these? Oh, these are belaying pins.
Belaying pins.
They come off old time ships.
They're like Like an old fashioned cleat.
Tie the rope around them, and then if you wanna release the rope real fast you Don't touch that, Mac.
Don't they have a housekeeper here? Two-week vacation.
Lieutenant.
Can I put the lamp down? Yes, Sergeant.
Mac.
Dust.
Dust.
Dust.
Dust.
Dust.
No dust.
You boys check these things out.
The belaying pin, the watch, and the lipstick.
For fingerprints? I don't think you're gonna find any, Sergeant.
So if the Commodore was killed here, I guess we know who sailed the yawl.
I guess we do, Mac.
Charles Clay? Who else? Thank you.
Did you find her? No, not yet.
Mrs.
Clay had an appointment at the hairdresser at 9:30.
She was there.
She left and we're still trying to locate her.
And the housekeeper got here at 10:00? Right.
Mrs.
Clay didn't like her to get here any earlier 'cause she was normally a little rocky in the morning.
It was all so simple.
A nice straight line.
You've still got a nice straight line.
No, you can't talk to Charles Clay.
He's gone.
One, four.
And Mrs.
Clay isn't here, either.
Five.
Thank you.
I still have what? You still got a nice straight line.
I mean, Charles Clay still could've killed the Commodore.
Who knows? Maybe he had a partner.
They got into an argument this morning.
The partner killed him, right? Lieutenant, I also found in the fireplace with those other things some feminine stuff.
Handkerchief and a piece of comb.
Feminine? Yeah.
Maybe I ought to take up smoking again.
Now, the letter and the notes in the fireplace look like they were stolen from the Commodore.
And I told the lawyer, when he gets here you want a sample.
Lieutenant.
That's certainly the old boy's handwriting.
And what does it say, Mr.
Kittering? Well, it appears to be a rough draft of a letter he was writing to a big fiberglass factory.
I know something about them.
They've been trying to buy the boatyards for years.
And had he decided to sell? No.
How could I know? I don't think anyone knew.
See, he was a secretive old fellow.
And I've been his lawyer all this time, but he never really confided in me.
Except when he wanted to.
He made up his own mind, and did what he wanted to and that was that.
By the way, has Joanna, Mrs.
Clay, seen this? We haven't even found her yet.
Well, it's nothing to do with me.
I mean, I'm not her lawyer, I was always his lawyer.
But I feel a certain amount of responsibility for the family and I was just thinking that, perhaps, you might be imagining that Joanna might be involved in something or other.
Of course, you've heard about her temper, her drinking and the rows with her husband.
No, sir, the only thing that I've heard is now that her father is dead, she's gonna inherit all the money.
Well, of course.
I mean, she's the primary heir.
She's the heiress to the whole fortune.
The nephew gets very little, and the rest are just token gifts.
Mr.
Kittering, forgive me for asking you this, but where were you the night the Commodore was killed? Oh, poor old Otis.
Where was I? I think I was in a motel.
In a motel, sir? Yes, I'm sure I was.
Nice little motel.
I can recommend it.
Where was it, sir? Sounds odd, but I couldn't quite tell you.
I could find it, I think.
It's somewhere near that new restaurant they talk about, the Captain's Quarters.
Any witnesses? There was a young lady.
Her name, sir? Shall we say we weren't formally introduced? Ships that pass in the night.
Not that many ships pass in my nights anymore, I regret to say.
Lieutenant? We've found Mrs.
Clay.
She's at the yacht club.
Tell Frazer to get things cleaned up.
See you at the car.
Thank you very much.
A pleasure.
Hi, Lieutenant.
Swanny, how are you? Fine.
I'd like a word with you, ma'am.
Could we go someplace more quiet? I know.
I know, Lieutenant.
My husband has been murdered.
Charlie Clay's been murdered, Lieutenant? How did you happen to know that, ma'am? Homicide cop! I've got to ask you where you've been, Mrs.
Clay.
At the hairdresser.
Can't you tell? What about the night of the Commodore's death? I don't know where I was.
At some point that night, I don't remember anything.
What do you mean, you don't remember anything? Does he have a better memory? 'Cause she was here the night of the party.
She hasn't done anything.
Now let her alone! No, no, no, don't lie for me! I'm sorry, but I vaguely remember going to my, my father on the island.
At about midnight maybe.
No later than that.
I was back here singing with the boys a few minutes after 12:00.
You went with her to see her father? That's right.
He took me to the boat.
And then drove me out there, dropped me, and after that I don't know anything.
Look, please.
Just try to recall how you got home that night.
A girl friend who lives on the island called me the next day.
She and her husband told me they found me sound asleep on one of their patio chairs at Apparently, they were kind enough to take me home and put me to bed.
Isn't that a pretty story, Lieutenant? My husband and my father are both dead and I don't know what happened! Oh! Mrs.
Clay.
Where have you been? I don't know where I've been for years.
That's the third time you've made this run.
How many more times you gonna make it? What time you got? Here, see for yourself.
What's this all about, anyway? Oh, I was just trying to prove something.
From here to there.
See, there's no way that Clay could have made that in four minutes.
You know the Commodore? I didn't see him that often.
He wasn't a man much for cars.
He was a man more for the water.
He took me for a little sail once, Lieutenant.
It was lovely.
Really lovely.
It's a shame.
Real shame.
Would you open that wooden thing for me there, please? Sure.
Clay's out.
Who's in, Mac? Clay's out.
What do you think, Mac? Rethink.
You got any Irish in you, Mac? No.
You're sure? Pretty sure.
Pretty sure.
Look at all this, Mac.
Water, ducks, boats.
It's beautiful.
Wouldn't it be nice to take one of these boats and just go sailing somewhere? I got it.
Have you got it? Got what? It.
It? Molly J.
Are you nervous? I still get a little tightening in my stomach from time to time myself.
Mr.
Kittering, doughnut? Oh, no.
Not just at the moment.
Thanks all the same.
Can I get you a cup of coffee? Why not, why not.
Hello.
Good morning.
Good morning.
Hello there.
Good morning.
Forgive me for being late, but what has to be done has to be done.
There's a chair in the rear, Miss King.
Sergeant.
Oh, a doughnut.
Good idea.
Mac! Yeah? What time do you have? I've got 9:29.
Mrs.
Clay, would you come here a moment? Mrs.
Clay! I want you to look through the telescope.
Daddy.
Daddy! Otis? Columbo, what in hell is going on? Trust me.
Daddy.
Do me a favor.
Daddy.
You know, I've always been fond of this room.
It's so peaceful.
Almost like being at sea.
Daddy.
The brightly beams our Father's mercy From His lighthouse evermore But to us He leaves the keeping Of the lights along the shore It's only me, folks.
Only me.
I'm sorry, Joanna.
You did a terrific job.
Thank you, sir.
Close the door.
All right.
Let's get on with it.
Mac.
I'm sorry, but I know that you wouldn't believe me unless you could see how easy it was.
Lieutenant, I didn't hear what you said.
I said, it was the only way to convince her how easy it was.
He means to impersonate your father, Mrs.
Clay.
And, Mr.
Clay, the night he got away with it, it was dark.
Thank you, Sergeant.
Thank you, Mac.
Let's go.
Mac.
Okay.
Ladies and gentlemen, I felt that, actually, the Lieutenant felt that if We'd save time if we all got together here.
I'm sure you're all as anxious as we are to know what happened the night that Commodore was killed.
And, of course, find the murderer of your husband, Mrs.
Clay.
Charles killed the Commodore? Did anyone say that? Okay, now what we meant was Here, I'll show you on the map.
What we meant was, here's the mainland, here's the island.
This is the bridge to the island.
Everybody knows that, Mac.
This is the yacht club and the Commodore's house, the harbor area We all know where we are, Mac.
All right.
Now, what we meant was that Mr.
Clay took the Commodore's body from the house to the boat.
He sailed the boat out passed the Coast Guard station into the ocean, and then somehow he fixed up the boat to make it look like an accident.
And then swam home.
Right.
Now, I got a list of suspects here.
Don't show that! I don't think he, Charles Clay, I don't think he murdered anybody.
Really, Mr.
Columbo.
Charlie certainly went to a lot of trouble if he didn't murder the Commodore.
Oh, I think he would've gone to twice that much trouble if he thought that his wife had murdered the Commodore.
Wait a minute, Columbo.
Back off.
Maybe he loved you more than you thought, baby.
I wasn't actually talking about that kind of love.
Was I, Mac? Well, I think the Lieutenant was talking about love of money.
Mr.
Kittering, you'd know more about that, wouldn't you? According to California law, if Mrs.
Clay were convicted of killing her father, could she still inherit from him? Oh, of course not.
No way.
And what's more, poor old Charlie wouldn't have been able to get his hands on any of the stuff.
That's what we meant, right? Yeah.
That's what we meant, Sergeant.
I didn't kill Daddy.
The young fella is a new officer, a trainee.
Oh, yeah? The other guy's been around for a while.
Good for him.
But your husband might have thought you did.
The brooch.
He gave it back to me the next day, but he didn't tell me where it came from.
Oh.
I'll bet it was right here.
He asked me such strange questions.
And you gave him all the wrong answers, too, right? And your husband must have begun to realize that he'd made an awful mistake.
Now, if that's the case, that's when your husband began to realize who really did kill your father.
So that's why he had to be killed.
That's right, because he started asking somebody questions.
Somebody? Who you talking about? Are you kidding? A lot of people would've been very upset if they'd suddenly found out what the Commodore was up to.
And what's that supposed to mean? Well, everybody knows that the Commodore had been acting a little funny lately.
Like, maybe the way he'd built that little yawl to suddenly sail away on for good.
Right.
Right.
But the Commodore had a lot of unfinished business.
Yeah.
Like painting.
Right.
Right.
And the will.
And the will.
Excuse me.
The boatyards.
The boatyards.
And a whole lot of other things.
And a whole lot of other things.
All right, fellas.
Give me a minute here, would you? Sergeant, get me them list of stencils.
Mac, can you reach up there? Let's look at that list of suspects now.
Give me that brown paper bag.
We'll use that.
All right.
Mac, help him with the stencils.
Hold them up.
Let's see that list of suspects.
Can you all see that? One, two, three, four, five, six.
We don't have to read that, do we? All right.
This is what we found in the boatyard.
Stencils, marine black paint.
All right.
S-A-I-L-S.
That's what it spells.
We thought he was putting "sails" on his locker.
Get me that other thing.
The one with the hole in it.
That's right.
All right.
Now, we're standing on a bridge, this fella here and me, and we seen some ducks there and a boat.
And then we remembered something.
The Commodore, he never painted the name on his boat, did he? No.
And that circle there, that became a period.
So we had to rearrange things, didn't we, fellas? Where's that other thing? That big thing? Get that big thing out.
So we got a hold of duplicate stencils and some black paint, and we rearranged those letters.
This is what we came up with.
And that's what we came up with.
He was going to name the boat after her? Well, the only trouble with that, sir, is that her last name is King.
And you've got an "S" left over.
Try again, Lieutenant.
The old boy was gonna marry the kid.
Look at that, Lisa Swanson.
The old boy was gonna marry the kid.
Look at her.
She's young enough to be his granddaughter.
Just hold it everybody.
Go ahead.
Tell them.
They don't know.
Love isn't just one age or another.
Mr.
Swanson was the most beautiful man who ever lived.
And one of the richest, my dear.
But I didn't want anything from him.
Sail the seas with him.
I just wanted to make him happy for the rest of his life.
Tell them what he told you about his will.
I told him I wouldn't marry him unless he promised not to leave me any money.
But he didn't want anybody else to have it, either.
He was sick of parasites.
So he was gonna sell the boatyards.
And, except for a small trust fund for you, Mrs.
Clay, he was gonna give it all to charity.
A sad story.
Enough to make you weep.
Columbo, I Mr.
Taylor, would you kindly sit down? Swanny, be seated please.
As a matter of fact, that girl is the only one in this room that doesn't have a single motive for killing the Commodore or Mr.
Clay.
Do you own that? Thank you.
Swanny, the Commodore's watch.
It isn't.
The Commodore's watch.
So what? The Commodore's watch.
Big deal.
The Commodore's watch.
Daddy's watch? Your father's watch, ma'am.
Did you give that to him? I noticed it's got the same kind of face as the one you gave your husband.
Yes, I did.
Daddy loved a pocket watch, so I mounted it in his own father's gold case.
Yeah, I thought it was something like that.
But this watch was broken at 12:42.
And your husband left the island at 12:46.
That's awfully close.
That's not enough time to struggle with the Commodore, then kill him, then talk to Mr.
Taylor, then drive over to the guard house.
No, not in four minutes.
No.
We checked that, didn't we? Don't forget, I got to the house after Charles.
Oh, that's an old trick they use in mystery books, Wayne.
You think you're going to be seen leaving a place, so you just turn about, then pretend you're coming in.
When we found this watch, there were no fingerprints on it.
Oh, I see.
But don't you think it's possible that someone might have been able to get hold of it, the watch, I mean, and reset it just to make you think that the Commodore was murdered at 12:42.
If so, sir, tell us who.
Well, if it couldn't be Mr.
Clay, then it had to be somebody else.
Somebody who had been there earlier.
Somebody who put the watch ahead.
The same person who left so many clues pointing to Mrs.
Clay that Mr.
Clay thought she committed the crime.
Of course, then Mr.
Clay, he messed everything up and took the body away.
Will you answer his question.
Who was it? Well, Mr.
Kittering.
What? Who do you think would benefit the most by the Commodore's death? Oh, well, Mr.
Swanson, of course.
I mean, he's what we call the secondary heir.
In fact, he's the only other member of the family, isn't he? Swanny? Swanny, that's right.
Swanny.
What do you think, Swanny? Now, the only reason a murderer would reset a watch like that would be to provide himself with an alibi, what do you think? Sure, but You're the only one who bothered to do that.
You said by a few minutes past 12:00, you were back at the yacht club singing with the boys.
So what? Of course, you're the only one who knew exactly where Mrs.
Clay went that night.
Who could have known how upset she was? Who could have followed them and heard the fight between her and her father? Saw the fight.
Who could've gone in there and killed him when she left the room? Who else could've gotten something out of her purse when she was riding in a boat coming back here? Wait a minute, wait a minute.
When she was drunk and in a stupor.
Who else could have done that? Wait a minute.
Wait a minute.
Wait a minute.
Wait a minute.
Maybe that's when I lost the brooch.
Listen to you.
You lost that brooch fighting with your father when you killed him.
That's it! It had to be you, Joanna.
Mr.
Columbo, excuse me.
You think that any one of us might have done this thing? Is that what you're trying to tell us? Yes, sir.
I guess I am.
Except for one thing.
You'll notice that none of you have seen this watch closely.
You've only heard it.
You heard it tick.
When I was talking about a watch that was found at the scene of the crime that was broken, it was smashed.
It did not tick.
It didn't work.
The Commodore's watch.
Now you see it.
And this is the broken inside part.
And we took this watch to a jeweler and we had the broken inside part replaced.
So now the watch ticks.
You all heard it tick.
And I When I went to you Mrs.
Clay, and I said, "The Commodore's watch," you said, "Daddy's watch.
" And when I said to you, Mr.
Kittering, "The Commodore's watch," what'd you say? I think I said, "Big deal.
" "Big deal.
" And I said to you, Mr.
Taylor, "The Commodore's watch," you said, "So" "What.
" "What.
" And when I said to you, Swanny, "The Commodore's watch," he said, "It isn't.
" Which means it isn't.
No, it is not the Commodore's watch.
Because you were the only one who knew that the Commodore's watch was smashed because you smashed it at the scene of the crime.
That about wrap it up? Yes, Mac.
That about wraps it up.
Are you expecting rain, Mac? Well, you just can't be too careful, Lieutenant.
You got a match, Sergeant? Thought you were gonna quit? Not yet.
No.
Not yet, Sergeant.
Not yet.
Where are you going? I'm meeting my wife at the yacht club.